By: Carlota Dalziel
It began with misgivings on the weather but a wave of our magic wand soon took care of that, and the rain held off until most of our guests had arrived. The downpour then came with a vengeance! For all of us out on the covered patio it was a thrilling setting; with the rain as a backdrop thundering down on the lush gardens of Appleford Estate in Villanova, PA, the venue for our Annual Picnic and Networking event. It was great to see so many well known faces and a pleasure to welcome new members!
Appleford Estate was a magnificent choice for our guests, who were charmed as they walked around the well appointed mansion, with its elegantly paneled reception rooms and exquisite décor that dates back more than 300 years. The evening was in part sponsored by one of DVTA’s corporate members, Heron Language Services. They generously served special Greek fare: gyros, salad and baklava. DVTA provided wine and soft drinks to pair with the delicious repast.
It was a lively event, by any measure. The more than 85 attendees were welcomed by DVTA President Tony Guerra, who thanked the board for supporting the event, masterfully organized by DVTA’s programming committee under the leadership of Maria Weir. In his address, Tony, Director of Interpretation Services at CETRA Language Solutions, made special mention of the next DVTA event to be held on October 12. DVTA’s corporate member, La Salle University, will be co-sponsor and provide the venue. A Witness to History will feature WWII veteran Dr. George Sakheim, who will tell us about his experience as an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials. Registration for this free event is still open. Tony also encouraged attendees to register for ATA’s 54th Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, November 6-9. DVTA is a chapter of ATA.
Special mention should be made of Angelique Demetris, our vital liaison to Heron, the generous provider of the feast and entertainment. Angelique also met up with Maria at Appleford during the early planning stage of the event and helped to get things moving smoothly.
Twenty languages were represented at Appleford: Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Cantonese, French, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Shona, Spanish, Ukrainian and Welsh.
Throughout the evening the guests enjoyed stirring live Greek instrumental music performed by a violin, keyboard and bouzouki trio. The musicians were George Christoforidis, President and CEO of Heron Languages, and his children. The Olympians, a dancing ensemble from St. Luke’s Greek Orthodox Church, put on a show of Greek dances and even invited some of the guests to take a few steps. Anne Connor, DVTA secretary and past President, showed us she has what it takes to master the skill!
By the end of the evening the rain had mercifully stopped and the merry attendees drove back home under dark but dry skies. Each guest came away with a bag of “worry beads” as a memento of the occasion, courtesy of our Greek friends, although it must be said that, given the general mood, “worrying” was the last thing on everyone’s mind!